Recruiting for your first Marketing person – some top tips

So you have decided that the time is right to recruit your first marketing person? Maybe the amount of marketing that your organisation undertakes has grown to a point where you consider you would be better off having a dedicated person. But you are not sure what to do next? Well here are our top tips on the steps that you need to take.

Firstly make sure that you budget for the other marketing costs that might be associated with that person and we are not referring here to HR costs like pensions or holiday pay. Whilst some forms of marketing do not involve expenditure, just effort and activity if you do not budget for some paid for activity (e.g. paid for social, Pay Per Click) you are unlikely to see your new person achieve their full potential.

Then decide what you want them to do. Obvious right? Well possibly, but you need to form these thoughts ideally into some form of job description that potential applicants can look at and determine whether it is something that interests them and matches their skill-set. One of the most common issues we see at this point is where businesses want to incorporate both marketing and sales tasks under the same role. There is nothing as such, to prevent you from doing this, but be aware that they require very different skill sets and finding both of these in one person can be very hard.

Next determine the level of person you think you need. Whilst you cannot now put the number of years’ experience required on discrimination grounds you need to have in your own mind the likely level of person you will be looking for, so that you can determine the salary that you will offer. People already in marketing roles will be able to determine the level of person you are looking for through a combination of the job role and the salary you offer.

Then you need to determine how you are going to recruit. The more senior the role, the more you are likely to benefit from using a recruitment agency that specialises in marketing (if you want recommendations on who you should consider in Gloucestershire please get in touch). Agencies have the advantage of a strong list of contacts and ability to reach people who are already in a role and not actively looking. For a more junior role you should be able to attract sufficient interest yourself. In Gloucestershire we are fortunate to have services like GlosJobs that can be very cost effective. Boosted Facebook posts can also be a highly cost effective means of generating interest and make sure you make the best possible use of your own social media, particularly Linkedin.

Once the applications flood in (hopefully – but be realistic there has been a shortage of good marketing people in recent years), the next task is to sift through applications to arrive at a shortlist for interview. We would usually suggest a minimum of 3-5 for this, as you can lose potential candidates along the process as they find other roles.

You then need to determine what the selection process is. This is usually one set of interviews or a first interview, followed by a second for a final one or two candidates. We would usually suggest asking candidates to sit some form of practical tests to gauge their abilities. Perhaps a writing task (draft a marketing letter), a proofreading task (with errors added in) and a task where they have to evaluate the results of a fictitious campaign. These tests are best done as part of the first interview, with the test being done first and then a break to allow marking – so that you can then discuss how the applicant found the tests. If you are having a second interview consider bringing in somebody different for the interview from your side to give you a fresh perspective.

At this point you need to try and reach a decision as soon as possible and make an offer. We would suggest not declining unsuccessful candidates until the preferred one has accepted, unless you are very confident that you would not consider them.

Once a candidate has accepted, try and keep in contact with the successful candidate whilst they are working their notice, to minimise the chance of them dropping out at this late stage. Also plan an induction programme for the first few weeks and think about what goals for the first few quarters and the first year you are going to set.

Simple isn’t it? If you think you might need help with this process, then get in touch as we can help with everything from writing job descriptions, shortlisting candidates, practical tests and interviews through to fast track induction and personal development plans.